1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Fax: (415) 552-9149
Bike Parking: Yes
Cuisines: Burgers, American, Coffee House, Hot Dogs, Cafeterias, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
Alcohol: Full Bar
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Good For Groups: Yes
No coupons available
05/03/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have been to San Francisco 12 times over the years and was introduced to Zuni Cafe about 18 years ago by a good friend who dines there several times a week. After hearing him rave about the food before he took me there the first time, I can say he didnt do the place justice. I have always concidered myself a major foodie, but Gene puts me to shame in that area. So since that night, I always make sure I visit Zuni for at least one meal everytime I visit the city. My favorite of thiers is Chicken for two roasted in the brick oven; warm bread salad with red mustard greens, scallions, currants, and pine nuts. Were headed back to SF in a few weeks and have plans to dine at Zuni, looking forward to my foodie girl friends first adventure at Zuni.
08/15/2009Provided by Citysearch -
This place did not live up to it's reputation. The best thing we had was the ceasar salad. We waited over an hour for the baked chicken, which is supposed to be their signature dish, and it was nothing special at all. Very disappointing and very expensive for what we got.
Relatives from So. Calif. took us to dinner at Zuni for our 50th Annv. The restaurant was recommended to them by their very good friends from Sacramento. We had three different items from the menu and found that in each case the food was excellent as was the service. Our only problem was finding the entrance (no signing on Market St.) since none of us had been there before, but now we know. Will we come back to Zuni? The answer is YES. Would we recommend this restaurant? YES. SWS, San Francisco
03/08/2009Provided by Citysearch -
""Fair at best"" is an appropriate description. Hate that we spent 175 with a bottle of wine and tip. Service was mediocre, very non-intursive to be polite. chicken served with a slight pink hue, which I am not accustomed to; combination of flavors was to be commended with the fried sweet potatoes and bitter greens. Tuna was a bit strong and not much flavor and too much char on the veggies. too many other good establishments to choose from. they must have comp'd the fodor's et al reviewers.
03/07/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Zuni Cafe has been around soooo long, and yet it is still so very relevant as a culinary destination. We arrived on a Thursday night and the place was packed. It was around 8pm. We were given a table in a smaller room upstairs, not bad considering we had no reservations. The server was incredibly friendly and very attentive without being overbearing. He made great suggestions and did not become negative when my friend ordered two appetizers. My friend had the polenta with marscapone and a Caesar salad. I had the rabbit salad and the flat iron steak. We split a bottle of Qupe Petite Syrah. There were other items on the menu I wanted (the beat salad, the sole, etc), so you should be able to find a selection of items that will appeal to most tastes. This place has a very sort of New York feel to it. I love it. We will be back!
08/12/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My husband and I chose to go here after noting the 5-star review on CitySearch... Wish I had read the review right before mine first!
We had reservations for 10. We were seated where I thought was a terrible spot - in a hallway-like bottleneck right across from the waiter's station, looking into the kitchen. My husband thought it was neat to watch the food being prepared, but I would have much preferred a seat by the window, especially since we had reservations!
Our waitress was friendly - when we saw her, which was hardly ever. You'd think that being by the waiter's station would mean she's be around frequently, but nope. She took our orders, and about thirty seconds after the food was served (by someone else), she asked how it was. Our menus, bread, salads, food, and drinks were all brought out by assorted mute staff.
Had anyone cared to ask how the food was after we actually had a chance to taste it, my husband would have said his pork was amazing, and I would have said my ""baked"" salmon was raw. Literally. It was cooked through about 2mm. If I had wanted sushi, there are plenty of other places I could have gone. I picked around the green bean salad seasoned (too) heavily with cilantro, my husband finished his pork... and 20 minutes later someone cleared our plates. Didn't ask how it was, nothing, just grabbed the plates and silverware and took it away.
To summarize, if you choose to go, get the pork, and don't expect any kind of service from your waitress.
07/26/2008Provided by Citysearch -
A recommended SF resturant on our visit we were anticipating a great culinary experience.
Our reservation was at 10 pm due to their high demand but the host were very accomodating to seat us at 9:30 since we got there earlier than expected.
We had a slight wait at the bar where the atmosphere was very uninviting. Bartenders ignored us and the cocktails we did have were poorly executed and the wait was long at an uncrowded bar. I asked if they had a specialty cocktail and she threw me the menu and walked away neverr to return!
Once at our table, again the service was not friendly or hospitable. Seemed to be a bother to serve us. No friendly greeting or suggestions on the menu, only that the chicken (their signature dish and was so raved about by a friend) would take 1 hour to prepare. You wouuld think being a signature they would have a better grasp on preparation and demand. Another signature the ricotta pasta was also unavailble after we placed that order. We settled for an uneventful duck substitue for their steak special again unavailable after placing that order, and halibut (which was passable at best).
The oysters were good and fresh. Their ""specialty"" caesar salad was bland and watery. (boring)
Desserts were pretentious uninspired and limited. We passed on them.
Be aware of a 4% surcharge for a community services donation? We had that removed. The coulple next to us was duly unimpressed.
We saw our server only once after the food was dropped when we flagged her down for a vegetable substitute in place of the bitter kale that accompanied the duck. No sign of server after that and was giving our check from another waiter without even a thank-you. The hostess did thank us on our way out.
Poor service, unviting and unfriendly and pretentious atmosphere, limited menu and poor presentation. Everythjing that makes up a MUST MISS! Would have had a better meal at In and Out Burger! Avoid this place. We wasted our evening here.
02/11/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Some people are so quick to report when their restaurant experience isn't perfect. Perhaps the waiter was rushed, or it was busy & they had to wait, or the manager was upset about something. However, rarely do people go back & mention when they had a great experience. Well, I was there on a Sunday evening with a party of 4. We sat at the entrance having cocktails, got a great table upstairs, the service was awesome, the daily menu was wonderful, the food was amazing, the desserts were also amazing. I liked it so much, that I am going back to give it a great review. Don't let those ""Neigh"" sayers steer you away. This place is great for a date, a big dinner party, or whatever you got in mind. We even saw a dude eating solo & loving it. So, go there, relax, enjoy & eat like royalty.
09/20/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I had the worst possible experience at Zuni cafe
The manager was the weirdest passive aggressive person I have ever met.
Apparently the kitchen is open till late-until you order something, then the manager will ask you to leave and concoct some B.S story about a no cell phone rule when other people are on the phone all around you
Its obvious to me that the staff do not want to stay late-so do not order the chicken-it takes an hour and that will upset them, and if you really complain as to the absurdity, they will call the police and waste their time as well
Do not go there, it's really weird
09/13/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I just returned to the Bay Area after moving away for several years. Been reacquainting myself with the food scene. Just had an extremely enjoyable lunch at Zuni --- thank goodness for old standbys that never change! The pizza crust was a masterpiece. The salad light and perfectly tossed. And the burger ... still a classic best! Thanks Zuni for hanging in there after all these years! Like an old friend who you haven't seen in a few years, it was easy to pick things up where we last left off.
08/18/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I feel compelled to speak up. Zuni has always been appealing for location and ambiance and was the exact reason Deb and I choose it for catching up. Instead of oysters and martinis we chose noshing and a gin ricky for catchin-up. I haven't been to Zuni in about 6 years because my friends and I have always felt let down for one reason or another -- depending on the day/night service is off, staff can be rather uppity, food inconsistent. For a place lasting 20 years in SF I was really hoping things had improved. Hey, you have a published cook book proudly displayed bible-like for cryin-out-loud.
This time it's bar service. Taking into consideration mixology is complex we were not surprised when a young bar tender did not know what a Gin Ricky is...nor did the 'experienced' bar captain. But, much to our amazement no effort was made by the bar captain to find out how to make it. What -- no reference book behind the bar? Shame on you Zuni. With a $41 roasted chicken on the menu and gushing written reviews I expect and demand excellent service. And how about a raspberry and a fresh mint leaf to add something to your flourless chocolate cake. Better yet, find a recipe that is not devoid of moisture. Thanks to a cheerful waiter and great conversation Deb and I enjoyed catchin-up. After all, why let underwhelming food and inferior bar service ruin spending quality time with those I love. Next time we'll head to the Mission.
08/01/2007Provided by Citysearch -
mmm to the food.
very delightful and sunny place to be, to break away from the daily grind. love the french fries, love the burger not because it wasn't heavy, not because the bread was perfectly soft, not because the beef was juicy and flavorful, but because one look at it, one whiff of it you immediately fall in love.
06/30/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Because of the good reputation of Zuni's burger, I invited my friends to Zuni Cafe, but their service was terrible. They seated three of us upstairs at a tiny corner space where there was hardly room to get into the seat. The space was too tight, so the waitress tried to pull the table out for us to seat. We were barely seated, yet the table was touching our stomachs. So we asked for another seat and the waitress said all seats were reserved but the seat next the front door was available for us, which space was another small corner of the restaurant. We were not pleased at all, but a new waitress approached us to get our orders. So we placed our orders from the menu. The waitress said that we had to wait over an hour to get our food, meanwhile, she suggested that we should have some wine while we were waiting for our food. We were not there to drink, and we didn't anticipate to wait for our orders that long. So we all stood up and left Zuni. That was enough experience with them. We will never go back to Zuni.
03/15/2007Provided by Citysearch -
""What a cool venue - we read the reviews and had to see what the fuss was about. First impressions on arriving by taxi is that this is a cool, small, local restaurant - then they take us up through a labyrinth to the back top corner of the restaurant where Reubin looks after us. We had read the reviews and instantly looked for the $20. burger - not there..hmmm..is this a new menu.. . Reuben gives us the daily menu - it is hard to distnguish the starters/appetizers from the main courses.. not a problem..as mix'n'match is encouraged.. we took the rabbit sausage, piccolo fritto & the ""infamous"" caesar salad (it is how it should be with the correct flavoring of anchovies as previously over-exaggerated by a prior reviewer). All starters are great - good flavor and not over-powering - so far so good - full marks. For the main courses we try the duck breast (with asparagus, white beans & kumquat-olive relish), polenta (with parmesan) and the ricotta Gnocchi... as to wine Reuben was able to offer a choice of 2 wines - a cabernet or a pinot noir (wow ! he had an opinion)..Impressive. The Gnocchi was bland both in flavor and in texture and needs to be worked on to pep up the flavors/texture. The rabbit sausage was exquisite ( we ordered a second portion). Overall service was good and ambiance great. Definitely a recommended visit for foodlovers... not sure if regular visits would become a tad boring with the small menu however it seems they change the menu often, so the spark of interest is kept.. Great Restaurant!""
01/03/2007Provided by Citysearch -
What a burger. I can't explain it in words but was it great. The service was fair but I will never forget that burger. I have lived in the city for years and have dined at Zuni before but I never ordered the burger. When you dine at Zuni at least one of your group must order the burger so everyone can try it.
12/02/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I've been here many times now even though I live in Sacramento. Everytime I go, I'm still amazed by the food. For lunch or dinner, you can miss out. The Oysters are simply fresh and amazing. The legendary chicken lives up to its hype. I'm not a fun of the shoe string fries though, but it is well done. The deserts are great! A good choice for either romantic or large groups. Just be sure to get reservations early and if you are going for a romantic date, request a nice cozy corner table as the tables are a bit jammed packed and can be noisy if in the wrong location.